Rupert N. Richardson
Rupert Norval Richardson, Sr. (April 28, 1891–April 14, 1988), was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and a former president of Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University
Hardin-Simmons University
Hardin–Simmons University is a private Baptist university located in Abilene, Texas, United States.-History:Hardin–Simmons University was founded as Abilene Baptist College in 1891 by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors who sought to bring Christian higher...

 in Abilene
Abilene, Texas
Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in west central Texas. The population was 117,063 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2006 estimated population of 158,063. It is the county seat of Taylor County...

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. Active in professional development, he was one of the founders of the West Texas Historical Association
West Texas Historical Association
The West Texas Historical Association is an organization of both academics and laypersons dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the total history of West Texas, defined geographically as all Texas counties and portions of counties located west of Interstate 35.-Formation of the...


Early years, education, military

Richardson was born to Willis Baker Richardson and the former Nannie Coon on Sandy Creek near the community of Caddo in Stephens County
Stephens County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,674 people, 3,661 households, and 2,591 families residing in the county. The population density was 11 people per square mile . There were 4,893 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile...

, Texas, which had a population in the 1890 census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of only seventy-five persons. He attended Simmons College (later Hardin-Simmons University), from which he procured his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in 1912. He then moved to Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, where he received a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 in 1914 from the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. In 1915, Richardson wed the former Pauline Mayes (April 17, 1892–April-1965); the couple had one son, Rupert Richardson, Jr.

From 1915-1916, Richardson was principal of Cisco High School in Cisco
Cisco, Texas
Cisco is a city in Eastland County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,851 at the 2000 census.-History:Conrad Hilton started the Hilton Hotel chain with a single hotel bought in Cisco. Hilton came to Cisco to buy a bank, but the bank cost too much; so he purchased the Mobley Hotel in 1919...

, a town in Eastland County
Eastland County, Texas
*Carbon*Cisco*Desdemona, a ghost town*Eastland*Gorman*Mangum*Olden*Ranger*Rising Star*Romney-See also:*National Register of Historic Places listings in Eastland County, Texas*Santa Claus Bank Robbery-External links:** at the University of Texas*...

 east of Abilene. The next academic year, he was principal at Sweetwater High School in Sweetwater
Sweetwater, Texas
Sweetwater is the county seat of Nolan County, Texas, United States. The population was 11,415 at the 2000 census.-History:Sweetwater received a U.S. post office in 1879. The Texas and Pacific Railway started service in 1881, with the first train arriving on March 12 of that year, beginning...

, the seat of Nolan County, located west of Abilene. In 1917, he returned to his alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

, Simmons College, as professor of history. He served briefly as a second lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.- United Kingdom and Commonwealth :The rank second lieutenant was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of ensign , although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal...

 in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. He subsequently procured his Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in 1922 and his Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in 1928, both from the University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

, where he studied under Eugene C. Barker
Eugene C. Barker
Eugene Campbell Barker was a distinguished professor of Texas history at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the first living person to have a UT campus building, the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, named in his honor. The structure is part of the Center for American History and was...

. He was dean of students at Hardin-Simmons from 1926–1928, vice president from 1928–1943, acting president from 1943–1945, and president from 1945-1953. Under his presidency the institution expanded in enrollment and size of the physical campus. In 1953, he retired as the Hardin-Simmons president emeritus
Emeritus is a post-positive adjective that is used to designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title. The female equivalent emerita is also sometimes used.-History:...

 and returned to the history department, where he continued to teach courses and supervise student theses.

Scholarly activities

Richardson’s scholarly works include The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement (1933), a study of the Comanche
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

; The Greater Southwest (1934), coauthored with Carl Coke Rister, Adventuring with a Purpose (1952); The Frontier of Northwest Texas (1963); Colonel Edward M. House
Edward M. House
Edward Mandell House was an American diplomat, politician, and presidential advisor. Commonly known by the title of Colonel House, although he had no military experience, he had enormous personal influence with U.S...

: The Texas Years
(1964), a study of Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

’s political aide from Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, and Caddo, Texas: The Biography of a Community (1966). His personal reflection is unveiled in Famous Are Thy Halls: Hardin-Simmons University As I Have Known It (1964).

His history textbook
A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

, Texas: The Lone Star State (1943) went through five editions until it ceased to be the leading textbook in its field during the 1980s. Texas: The Lone Star State, now in its tenth edition and co-authored by Ernest Wallace
Ernest Wallace
Ernest Wallace was an historian of Texas, the American West and the southern Great Plains, who was affiliated with Texas Tech University in Lubbock.-Historical works:...

, Adrian Anderson, and Cary D. Wintz, emphasizes the 19th century and treats Reconstruction as a political tragedy or melodrama, the earlier view usually held by southern historian but subsequently abandoned after the rise of the civil rights movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

. Richardson served as an editor of the West Texas Historical Association Year Book from its first issue in 1925 until his death. At the time the association was based at Hardin-Simmons, but it relocated in 1998 to Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University, often referred to as Texas Tech or TTU, is a public research university in Lubbock, Texas, United States. Established on February 10, 1923, and originally known as Texas Technological College, it is the leading institution of the Texas Tech University System and has the...

 in Lubbock
Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacado, and the home of Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University...


A fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, Richardson also served from 1969-1970 as president of the organization. He was a former president of the Southwestern Social Science Association, the Texas Philosophical Society, and the Texas Council of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. He was also active in the Masonic lodge
Masonic Lodge
This article is about the Masonic term for a membership group. For buildings named Masonic Lodge, see Masonic Lodge A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge, is the basic organisation of Freemasonry...

, the Lions Club, and in Baptist affairs.


Richardson was a member from 1953-1967 of the Texas State Historical Survey Committee, now the Texas Historical Commission
Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Historical Commission is an agency dedicated to historic preservation within the state of Texas. It administers the National Register of Historic Places for sites in Texas....

, and promoted the expansion of historical marker
Historical marker
A historical marker or historic marker is an indicator such as a plaque or sign to commemorate an event or person of historic interest and to associate that point of interest with a specific locale one can visit.-Description:...

s along Texas highways. In 1972, he received the Ruth Lester Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in historical preservation.

In 1965, shortly after the death of his wife, Richardson traveled to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, to testify on behalf of the establishment of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at in elevation. It also contains El Capitan, long used as a landmark by people traveling along the old route later followed by the Butterfield Overland...

 in West Texas near the New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 state line. The park opened in 1967.

Richardson died in Abilene two weeks prior to what would have been his 97th birthday. He is permanently honored by the naming of both the Richardson Library and the Richardson Research Center of the Southwest on his campus. In addition, the West Texas Historical Association names its annual book award in Richardson's honor.B W Aston
B W Aston
B W Aston was an American historian whose career embraced local and regional history as well as Latin American studies. From 1967-2001, he was a faculty member at Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.Aston was born in Fort Worth to Ernest Roy Aston and Mural Aston...

, Hardin-Simmons history faculty member, headed the research center from 1981-2001.
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